A model for the rapid development of dispositional and functional tolerance to barbiturates

Ing K. Ho, Ikuo Yamammoto, Horace H. Loh

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47 Scopus citations


The s.c. implantation of a 75 mg pentobarbital pellet in the back of a conscious mouse resulted in a much more rapid development of tolerance to barbiturates than that produced in mice receiving daily i.p. injections of 75 mg/kg sodium pentobarbital. Acceleration in tolerance development by pentobarbital pellet implantation was evidenced by a decrease in sleeping time after the challenge with either sodium pentobarbital or sodium barbital. The degree of hepatic microsomal drug enzyme induction after pentobarbital pellet implantation also was found to be significantly higher than that produced by the injection technique. Further studies demonstrated that the threshold for pentylenetetrazol-induced seizures was significantly reduced compared to that of the sodium pentobarbital daily injected and control groups. These studies provide an animal model for studying the mechanism of barbiturate tolerance and dependence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-171
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1975

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The studies were supported in part by Grants DA-00563 and 00948 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. I.K. Ho is a recipient of a PMAF Faculty Development Award in Basic Pharmacology. H.H. Loh is a recipient of a N.I.M.H. Research Scientist Development Award, K2-DA-70554. The authors wish to thank Barbara B. McAninch for her technical assistance and Barbara Halperin for assistance in preparation of the manuscript.


  • Barbital
  • Barbiturate tolerance
  • Half-life
  • Metabolism
  • Mouse
  • Pellet implantation
  • Pentobarbital
  • Pentylenetetrazol


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